For all past installments in the series, click here.
This fifth and final episode of Andrew Baxter and Cole Jenkins‘ documentary of Blaak Heat Shujaa‘s California recording session and tour wraps up the roadtime and covers the band returning to Scott Reeder‘s The Sanctuary studio, where they worked with guest vocalists Ron Whitehead and Mario Lalli. After the EP was finished, the band shot a new video for one of the songs — because if you’re in the desert, you gotta make the most of it while you can.
Thanks to Blaak Heat Shujaa, Tee Pee Records and Baxter and Jenkins for allowing me to host these clips as they’ve come along. Can’t wait to hear how the album actually came out!
This time around in Andrew Baxter and Cole Jenkins‘ serial documentary on the recording of Blaak Heat Shujaa‘s Tee Pee Records debut, the band break from working on the album with Scott Reeder to head into the desert for a couple gigs with poet Ron Whitehead before hitting up Los Angeles and a show with Fatso Jetson and Mondo Generator. Enjoy:
The Californian new album and tour adventures of Blaak Heat Shujaa continue, and so does filmmakers Cole Jenkins and AndrewBaxter‘sdocumentary series covering them. In this episode, the three-piece continue work on their Tee Pee Records debut and meet up with awesomely-bearded poet Ron Whitehead, who’ll be their tourmate for their short run of shows through the Golden State, running through this weekend.
Today, heavy desert rockers Blaak Heat Shujaa continue the up-to-the-minute coverage of the recording of their new album. In the second episode of their docu-series, the three-piece continue their recording process with Scott Reeder at the helm and prepare for a California tour with Ron Whitehead.
If you missed the first episode, check it out here. Here’s part two, and more to come:
Can’t say you weren’t warned. In this beginning of Blaak Heat Shujaa‘sdocumentary series covering the recording of their Tee Pee Records debut and their California mini-tour, the band arrive and make preparations at Scott Reeder‘s Sanctuary Studio. For more info about the project, check out the announcement here.
Filmmakers Cole Jenkins and Andrew Baxter sent over the below to get us started. Dig it:
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 17th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
In the three and a half years I’ve been working on this site, I’ve never quite been a part of a project like this. The idea is that French heavy psych rockers Blaak Heat Shujaa — hot on the hells of their signing to Tee Pee — are making a documentary series of videos that will cover their mini-tour of California and the recording of their new album with Scott Reeder. They’ve brought in filmmakers Cole Jenkins and Andrew Baxter to put it together one day at a time, and as each day passes, they’re going to send me the segments to post.
The episodes will be relatively short, but get ready, because as you can see in the explanation from guitarist/vocalist Thomas Bellier below, the band has a lot going on. Really looking forward to seeing how this comes out. I think it’s going to be an absolute blast over the next couple of weeks. Here’s the info, and for Blaak Heat Shujaa‘s tour dates, just click the poster image (courtesy of Skillit Art) below to enlarge it.
In early August, the Blaak Heat Shujaa trio reunited in Los Angeles straight from London, New York and Boulder. Since then, we’ve been hard at work crafting the new tunes for our second album in our Echo Park studio. It’s 100°F outside, about 95°F inside, Mike drums in his underwear, and the new jams rule.
On Friday, we’re hitting Scott Reeder’s studio, at the edge of the Mojave desert. We’ll be joined by our friends Mario Lalli and Ron Whitehead, who’ll record vocals on some tracks. On the 22nd, we kick off a California tour in Palm Springs, with Ron doing spoken word on stage with us. After that, we go back to Reeder’s on the 28th, where I’ll be polishing off my vocals and solos while my Blaak Heat acolytes will be shooting a free-form psychotomimetic proto-post-avant-garde music video.
Our buddies Cole Jenkins and Andrew Baxter, two LA-based musician/filmmakers, will follow us for two weeks, documenting the making of the new album, life on the road, and our encounters with friends, guest musicians, desert characters, other bands, dangerous animals and hazardous substances. Starting on August 19th and until the 31st, their footage will be featured on The Obelisk on a daily basis in the form of short video clips. Make sure you catch that rare footage of a newly signed band, where the musical sublime and human decadence will coexist in the most inextricable chaos (French subtitles not included).
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 7th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
Kudos to L.A. by way of New York by way of Paris by way of the desert by way of reverb rockers Blaak Heat Shujaa on the announcement of their signing to Tee Pee Records. The band is hard at work on the follow-up to their impressive self-titled debut (review here), and the news of their assignation just came down the PR wire.
BLAAK HEAT SHUJAA Sign to Tee Pee Records
Fast Rising Los Angeles-via-Paris Based Trio Set to Enter the Studio to Record “Mind Expanding” Sophomore LP
Buzzworthy French-American psych rockers BLAAK HEAT SHUJAA have signed with NYC’s Tee Pee Records. Formed in 2008 in Paris, France, BLAAK HEAT SHUJAA promptly established themsleves as the ‘young Turks’ of European heavy psychedelia and boast a cinematic sound that has been called “Heavy Spaghedelia” and ”Kyussian”, featuring “psychedelic, meditative, trance-inducing” and “spacey atmospheres”. Now based in Los Angeles, the trio’s highly anticipated second album — a clamorous combination of neo-psychedelia, heavy rock and spaghetti rock — will be recorded at Scott Reeder‘s (Kyuss, The Obsessed) Sanctuary Studio in the California desert and released in March, 2013.
Comprised of Thomas Bellier (also of Mirror Queen; Sonny Simmons Ensemble), Antoine Morel-Vulliez and new drummer Michael Amster (also of Black Acid Devil; Jesus & The Sputnik 9), BLAAK HEAT SHUJAA will be joined in the studio by Nobel Prize-nominated gonzo poet, Ron Whitehead and by desert rock legend Mario Lalli (of Yawning Man; Fatso Jetson; Desert Sessions…), with whom BHS has toured. After a globally acclaimed 2010 debut (also produced by Reeder), a full European tour with Yawning Man and numerous shows throughout Europe with prominent rock and psychedelic acts (including Dead Meadow, Karma to Burn, and Acid King), BLAAK HEAT SHUJAA is currently working on its new material which will push the group’s “exploration of mind-expanding music forms” into entirely new realms.
Additionally, BLAAK HEAT SHUJAA have announced a string of August live dates in California alongside the aforementioned Ron Whitehead. The run will kick off on August 22 in Palm Springs.
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 9th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
Interesting that New Jersey heavy rockers The Atomic Bitchwax, who’ve heretofore always named records numerically, are switching to a title for their fifth album, The Local Fuzz, the release announcement for which you’ll find below. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that The Local Fuzz is comprised entirely of one track, or maybe there’s some other, more elusive reason. Whatever the case, rest assured, rock will be had.
The Atomic Bitchwax will also be headlining Tee Pee Records‘ European label tour leading up to the album release. Here’s all the info from the PR wire:
Legendary New Jersey hard rock band The Atomic Bitchwax (also TAB) will release its new album The Local Fuzz on April 26 via Tee Pee Records. The trio’s fifth full-length effort delivers an advanced take on its blistering, virtuosic sound via a single, glorious 42-minute song titled “The Local Fuzz” that contains no less than “50 riffs back to back,” perfectly capturing the unit’s vivid execution and ambitious vision.
Recorded at the Panic Room in Neptune, NJ, The Local Fuzz pushes The Atomic Bitchwax‘s high-octane groove and powerful strut to new heights of unencumbered artistic expression. The band’s “Rush-like riff mazes” weave through natural pop structures nearly effortlessly while the record’s out-of-site production showcases the musicians’ prowess at the apex of their career to date. Widely recognized as pioneers of the modern hard (or “stoner”) rock sound, The Local Fuzz shows The Atomic Bitchwax as a forward-thinking band not content to rest on career accomplishments; instead surging forward to give fans a brand new way to re-experience the exhilarating rush and sonic assault of heavyweight rock ‘n’ roll.
Prior to the release of The Local Fuzz, The Atomic Bitchwax will headline a Tee Pee Records European label tour which will kick off on April 5 in Wiesbaden. Co-sponsored by the UK’sClassic Rock magazine, the tour will also feature Brooklyn heavy psych band Naam, Toronto-based psych rock band Quest for Fire and NYC rockers Mirror Queen. The band has also been announced as one of the featured acts at the 2011 Roadburn Festival, set to take place April 14-16 in Tilburg, Holland.
Tee Pee Records 2011 European Tour featuring The Atomic Bitchwax with Naam, Quest for Fire and Mirror Queen:
04/05 Wiesbaden, Germany Schlachthof
04/06 Vienna, Austria Arena
04/07 Würzburg, Germany Cafe Cairo
04/08 Dresden, Germany Groovestation
04/09 Hohenstein, Germany Schützenhaus
04/10 Berlin, Germany Magnet
04/11 Hamburg, Germany Molotow
04/12 Marburg, Germany KFZ
04/13 Dortmund, Germany Piano
04/14 Tilburg, Netherlands * Roadburn Festival (feat. The Atomic Bitchwax, Naam, Quest for Fire)
04/15 Jena, Germany Rosenkeller
04/16 Salzburg, Austria B. lack
04/17 Millstatt, Austria Bergwerk
04/18 Maribor, Slovenia Dvorana Gustaf -Pekarna
04/19 Torino, Italy United Club
04/20 Brescia, Italy Latte & Live
04/21 Luzern, Switzerland Sedel
04/22 Winterthur, Switzerland Gaswerk
04/23 Weil der Stadt, Germany JH Kloster
04/24 Paris, France Nouveau Casino
04/25 Rotterdam, Netherlands Baroeg
04/26 Antwerpen, Belgium Trix
04/27 London, UK Underworld
Well, now that the forums are back online and everything seems to be working in the back end of the blog proper as well, I thought it was only fair to close out the week. A little psychedelia for your Sunday from what I think was one of the year’s best records in the genre: Quest for Fire‘s Lights from Paradise. The song is “Greatest Hits by God.” Hope you enjoy.
Next week is Xmas, but we’ll pick up the top 20 of 2010 countdown with number eight, and keep moving despite holidays and the rest of it. I’ll also have an EPIC interview with Victor Griffin of Place of Skulls/Death Row/Pentagram fame in which he opens up about his spiritual beliefs, working with Bobby Liebling on the new Pentagram and much more, so please, stick around for that. I was on the phone with the guy for over an hour spread across two days and I really think it’s one of the best interviews to come on this site yet. I’m very excited.
If you’re reading this, thanks. I’m sorry about the glitch in the forums that caused them to bite it, and like I said yesterday, I’m going to do my best to see that doesn’t happen again. Database backups abound!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I’ll be on the couch reading and listening to music with the little dog Dio for as much of today as possible, and tomorrow we’ll pick back up with reviews and regular posting. I look forward to it.
This is the mother of them all. Short of doing three songs in as many hours, which I could have done just as or even more easily, I don’t see how any audiObelisk Transmission could get heavier than this one. It’s just a little bit of an excuse on my part to have an easily accessible copy of Dopesmoker at all times, but with new music as well from Hypnos 69, a classic dirge from Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine and one of Boris‘ most avant garde moments, Transmission Zero Zero Nine is an absolute monster. I hope you dig it.
No need to hide the tracklist after a jump since it’s only four songs. Click the banner at the top of this post to get the file, or stream it on the player above. Here’s what we’ve got:
0:00:08 Sleep, “Dopesmoker” from Dopesmoker (Tee Pee, 2003)
There was no way I was going to make this podcast and not include this song. It’s the riff that launched a thousand clone bands, and Sleep‘s shining hour. Literally, an hour. Plenty of time to worship.
1:03:42 Hypnos 69, “The Great Work” from Legacy (Elektrohasch, 2010)
New music from these Belgian classic proggers. It’s the last cut on their new album, Legacy, and maybe their most aptly-titled song ever. Their sense of melody is second to none and the progressive elements in their approach have never shined brighter than they do here.
1:21:53 Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine, “He Who Accepts all That is Offered (Feel Bad Hit of the Winter)” from Rampton (Southern Lord, 2002)
The lineup of Lee Dorrian (Cathedral), Stephen O’Malley (SunnO)))/Khanate), Justin Greaves (Iron Monkey/now-Crippled Black Phoenix) and Greg Anderson (Goatsnake) only put out one album under this cumbersome moniker, taken from a song title on Earth‘s Earth 2. It’s a good thing. I don’t think the universe could handle a second without ripping in half.
1:51:35 Boris, “Flood” from Flood (MIDI Creative, 2000)
Is that guitar forward or backwards? Both? I doubt anyone really knows what Boris are getting up to for the entirety of this song, Boris included. I remember interviewing drummer Atsuo Mizuno a couple years back and he looked at me like my head was on backwards when I asked about it. See if you can figure it out.
Posted in Reviews on August 26th, 2010 by H.P. Taskmaster
Los Angeles-based double-guitar five-piece Night Horse treat classic rock like it’s a pretty lady. They take it out do a nice dinner, they hold the door, they pick up the tab, maybe they go to a show afterwards, and all the while they’re perfectly charming. Of course, sweet love is later made, and the end result is the band’s second album for Tee Pee Records, Perdition Hymns, which is 11 tracks of high-grade rock and roll genetics that, listening through, I’m honestly surprised didn’t come out on Small Stone. Where Tee Pee has mostly diverted into the heavy psych realm — bands like Quest for Fire, Naam, Earthless, etc. – Night Horse seem more suited to accompany the likes of Sasquatch, the recently-reviewed Red Giant, Gozu and perhaps most of all Sun Gods in Exile, whose 2009 album Black Light, White Lines, was equally shy about showing off its riff and solo prowess. And by that I mean not at all.
But there’s a Tee Pee connection in that Night Horse guitarist Justin Maranga also plays in Ancestors, so there you go, mystery solved. And honestly, after hearing the kind of blues-driven ‘70s jams Night Horse traffic in, I can’t imagine not wanting to put out a record like Perdition Hymns, no matter what sound you’re trying to associate your label with. Songs like the powerful opening trio of “Confess to Me,” “Angel Eyes” and “Rollin’ On” provide the kind of rock wallop you’d usually expect from an older bunch of dudes, but Night Horse’s love for what they do is evident. You can hear it in the playing of Maranga and fellow six-stringer Greg Buensuceso, in the straight-ahead rhythms of bassist Nick D’Itri and drummer Jamie Miller, and in the vocals of Sam James Velde, whose performance was also a highlight on Night Horse’s debut, The Dark Won’t Hide You, but is perhaps even stronger on Perdition Hymns, standing up with no trouble to the considerable instrumental competition provided by the band behind him.
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 25th, 2010 by H.P. Taskmaster
Just last week, I posted Night Horse tour dates and made my complaint known that the band wasn’t going to be coming out to the East Coast. Lo and behold, last night I check the PR wire and what’s there but a new batch of shows for guitarist Justin Maranga‘s other band, the heavy-psych awesomeness known as Ancestors, and they’re not coming east either! What is it, man? Do I smell?
The answer to that question, inevitably, is yes. While I go track down some deodorant to reapply, check out these Ancestors dates with new Tee Pee labelmates, The Fucking Wrath:
Ancestors and The Fucking Wrath will embark on a string of West Coast tour dates in late October. The Fucking Wrath recently signed with Tee Pee Records and will be releasing the EP Terra Fire on October 19. Ancestors are supporting their 2009 critically acclaimed sophomore album Of Sound Mind.
Ancestors/The Fucking Wrath tour dates:
10/20 Zahn Zillas, Ventura, CA
10/21 Hemlock Tavern, San Francisco, CA
10/22 East End, Portland, OR
10/23 Comet Tavern, Seattle, WA
10/25 Jambalaya, Arcata, CA
10/26 Nick’s Night Club, Chico, CA
10/27 Jose’s Mexican Bar & Grill, Monterey, CA
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 19th, 2010 by H.P. Taskmaster
I still haven’t listened to Night Horse‘s second album, Perdition Hymns. I’ll get there. It’ll be reviewed soon enough. Not like I need to worry though, because the band’s upcoming tour is headed nowhere near Jersey, so even if I was to immerse myself in their ultra-bluesy ’70s rock, I wouldn’t get the chance to complement that experience with a live show. Crazy California gets everything. Fuckin’ hoverboards.
Alright. Here’s tour dates from the PR wire:
Night Horse returned with their highly-anticipated sophomore effortPerdition HymnsonAug. 3, produced and mixed byMatt Bayles (Pearl Jam, Mastodon, The Sword). Perdition Hymns is a patent demonstration of a group that has quickly become a well-refined songwriting machine. The band has chiseled the six-minute jam style songwriting of their debut The Dark Won’t Hide Youinto the hook-laden gems that comprise Perdition Hymns; with riff driven catchiness and soaring melodies that stick.
Perdition Hymns is a rock and roll classic for current times; a statement of what’s to come within today’s musical landscape; a missing link to years gone by; and a glimpse into what is about to become.
Night Horse tour dates:
Aug. 20 LosAngeles, CA Vacation Vinyl (Free in-store)
Aug. 28 SanDiego, CA Soda Bar
Sept. 10 SanDiego, CAThe Casbah (w/Olivelawn)
Sept. 14 LongBeach, CA The Prospector (w/RadioMoscow)
Sept. 15 Ventura, CAZanZillas (w/RadioMoscow)
Sept. 16 LosAngeles, CA Spaceland (w/ RadioMoscow)
Oct. 7 SanFrancisco, CA The Hemlock
Oct. 8 Portland, OR East End
Oct. 9 Seattle, WA The Comet
Posted in Reviews on July 29th, 2010 by H.P. Taskmaster
When Tee Pee Records put out Quest for Fire’s self-titled full-length last year, I got a promo of it, and it went promptly on my shelf. I didn’t even listen. You know why? Because I knew that if I listened to it, I’d like it, and then it would be one more god damn album to buy, one more god damn band to like, one more god damn show to trek out to. Blah.
Of course, I got mine in the end, as Tee Pee now releases the follow-up from these Toronto argonauts, Lights from Paradise. Sure enough, a promo of the record came in the mail, and I put it on, and now I want both albums. So yeah, thanks a lot.
Lights from Paradise is eight tracks of sprawling psychedelia from the Canadian four-piece, ranging from the ritualistic stillness of opener “The Greatest Hits by God,” which seems to capitalize on what Om might sound like with two guitars, to the semi-raucousness of “Set Out Alone” or the Dead Meadow freakout of “In the Place of a Storm.” Of the sundry personality traits the band shows on the album, I prefer the moody, subdued side that comes out on the first track or “Psychic Seasons,” which boasts one of Lights from Paradise’s few excursions into acoustics and also features some strings for a classy touch. Of course, there’s something to be said for the extended Beatles-style solo in closer “Sessions of Light” as well, which shows Quest for Fire as a band with more than just a reverb pedal and propensity for jamming, complex as its melody structure and progression are. Take your pick, really.
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 23rd, 2010 by H.P. Taskmaster
Aggressive stoner metallers The Fucking Wrath have been picked up by Tee Pee Records. For a label whose recent output has been closer to Dead Meadow-style psychedelic post-rock, it’s something of a surprise, given all the hardcore punk The Fucking Wrath inject into their music, but I guess you gotta change things up. Either way, it’s pretty god damn heavy.
The Fucking Wrath will have a new EP out this year and are set to hit the road this Fall alongside Ancestors. No, they’re not coming East. The PR wire speaks, we listen:
Tee Pee Records is proud to introduce the newest addition to their roster: The Fucking Wrath. The band will issue the EP Terra Fire in October on Tee Pee Records followed by a full-length in the spring of 2011. The Fucking Wrath will be performing at the recently-announced Power of the Riff Festival taking place on August 8th in Los Angeles. October dates have also been announced with new labelmates Ancestors!
08/08/2010 The Echoplex, Los Angeles, CA (Power of the Riff)
10/20/2010 Zahn Zillas, Ventura, CA*
10/21/2010 Hemlock Tavern, San Francisco, CA*
10/22/2010 East End, Portland, OR*
10/23/2010 Comet Tavern, Seattle, WA*
10/25/2010 Jambalaya, Arcata, CA*
10/26/2010 Nick’s Night Club, Chico, CA*
10/27/2010 Jose’s Mexican Bar & Grill, Monterey, CA*
* w/ Ancestors